Giving you all the latest in Stock Market Information as it happens...


Modest Leads For The Bulls

It was another volatile session on US markets overnight, but this one ended with a positive outcome for the three major indices. Wall Street returned to its winning ways after data showed a surprise drop in weekly US jobless claims to the lowest in two months. That was followed by data showing November Chicago-area manufacturing growth beating expectations, and consumer sentiment rebounding due to an improved economic outlook among Americans. The Dow climbed 24 points (+0.2%) to 16097, the S&P500 added four points (+0.2%) to 1807 and the Nasdaq put on 27 points (+0.7%) to 4045. In commodity markets, oil copped another hammering after supply data revealed the tenth consecutive weekly rise in US crude inventories. Front month oil futures slumped 1.5% to US$92.27 a barrel. Gold was also weaker, weighed down by the US dollar, which strengthened on the back of the positive consumer sentiment data. Bullion futures shed 0.3% to US$1238 an ounce. The greenback soared to a six month high against the yen after a Bank of Japan official indicated the central bank is open to further monetary easing. In economic news, private capital expenditure data is due for release at 11:30am, AEDT. HIA new home sales data is also due out at some stage today.